It's safe to say that the intense effort to tackle foreign bribery has been the single most striking corporate criminal enforcement trend over the past several years. The numbers from the Justice Department's fraud section, which prosecutes Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases, tell an unmistakable story.
In 2004, the Department of Justice (DOJ) booked just two FCPA cases, netting a total of $11.3 million in criminal penalties. It's been a steep climb ever since.
With 33 member states, including most of Europe, all of North America, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand, the OECD represents a large portion of the industrialized world. That's a meaningful consensus falling in behind U.S. corruption policy.
Judge and Jury
At the same time the OECD issued its FCPA report, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented a more critical counterpoint. In a report titled "Restoring Balance: Proposed Amendments to the FCPA," the Chamber called for greater judicial review in corruption cases.
FCPA enforcement complaints, particularly those on the lack of compliance guidance, are apparently not falling on deaf ears.